Welcome to 1460, the first installment of interviews I plan on posting on some my favorite basketball card collectors and their stories.
The premiere interview goes out to Stan, aka da_man1980, from the HobbyKings message board, known as one of the resident Michael Redd collectors. Recently, he unveiled his incredible collection of 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Reds that caught my eye. I wanted to get further insight on how/why he started collecting this set, and well, that’s how “1460″ was born. I am hoping to get in touch with other collectors for interviews on their collections, and hopefully this will become a a staple section of Hupe Royalty.
As for the title “1460?” It was derived from “15 minutes of fame” or, put differently… 14 minutes and 60 seconds.
Q: How long have you been collecting this set?
A: I can’t remember exactly when I started this set, but it looks like the first trade I made for this set was with Tobias (Tobse) in Feb 2008. I was able to get 4 of them from him and the chase started from there.
Q: What appeals to you about the set?
A: I’ve always been a fan of 1990 inserts, and I decided that I wanted to try and complete a “higher end” set from those years. At that time, there was already talk of the PMGs being one of the most popular sets from the 90s, and I thought I’d go and try to complete that set. It wasn’t until I actually had one in hand did I truly appreciate the appeal of the card. I love how the Red background “refracts” on the card, and how there are only 90 of each card (since the first 10 are green).
I thought about trying to complete both the Red and Green sets, but I don’t have the funds for such an endeavor.
Q: Do you have a favorite card that you have acquired so far?
A: I think my favorite card from the set so far is probably the John Stockton. He’s one of the few Hall of Famer cards I have, and I have yet to see another copy. It also has very few chipping on the card, which is very common for this set.
Q: What do you feel has been the best deal you’ve got on a card?
A: I can’t remember all the deals that I got, but the best deal I can remember is that I bought the Steve Nash from my good friend Ryan Keller (keller13) a while ago for $80. Now I see the Nash consistently go for $250-$350.
My biggest regret was passing on the Kobe and Iverson PMGs from someone on the boards, who offered to sell me the Kobe for $450 and the Iverson for $300. I didn’t have the funds at that time, nor was I willing to spend that much on a card, so I passed. I now regret passing on both those cards, .
Q: How do you feel about the 08 PMGs vs the 97 PMGs?
A: This is an easy one to answer. At first, I was excited to hear that they were coming out with the new 08 PMGs. Especially since it meant that current superstars like Lebron, Durant, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose would be included. Also, my PC player, Michael Redd, was also included in the set.
It wasn’t until I received my Michael Redd PMGs did I notice that the new version of the card didn’t have the red “refractor” finish on the card. It was basically a normal insert with a red background. It was then did I realize that nothing will ever compare to the original, and I’m still surprised at how well the 08 versions are currently selling for these days.
Q: What has been the toughest obstacle in obtaining the cards?
A: Obviously the toughest obstacle for this set is the price. When I first started this set, many of the cards were semi-affordable. But now with the popularity of the set, a bunch of the higher end players are consistently going for 2-3x what I could have bought them for even just a year ago. Especially now that I have a 3-month old daughter, it’s definitely harder for me to justify spending so much.
Q: Do you plan on getting your cards graded? Would you pay more to buy graded versions?
A: I have never been a big fan of graded cards. Especially with this set, where chipping is quite common, I care less about the condition of the card and more about just being able to obtain the card. If a graded card is going to sell more than an ungraded one, I’m more than willing to wait for the next ungraded one to pop up.
Q: How common are the vertical lines (such as in the Tom Gugliotta) and other blemishes on the cards, not including chipping?
A: I think the vertical lines aren’t too common for this set, but it’s not uncommon either. I think the rate is the same as you would find on any regular Finest or Chrome Refractor. You do see it from time to time, but it’s not a prevalent issue. Obviously, I’d rather have one that didn’t have the lines, but I’m willing to live with it if it will help me get closer to finishing this set.
Q: Have you ever actually pulled any from packs?
A: Nope, I did buy a lot of cards in the mid-90s, but I think I only bought a few packs of the 97-98 Metal Universe. All the cards from the set I’ve obtained individually.
Q: Aside from jordan and kobe, what card do you think will be most difficult for you to get? (either because of price or because of rarity showing up online)
A: That’s a great question. Other than those two, I think one of the ones I will have a hard time getting is probably a Scottie Pippen. I’ve at least seen most of the other big names in the set for sale at some point, but I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen a Scottie Pippen.
Actually, let me change one of my answers. The one about the hardest one to get besides the Jordan and Kobe. I want to change answer to Tim Duncan, because it’s his rookie year, and he’s one of the best forwards ever to play the game. I’ve always admired his style of play, and besides the MJ and the Kobe, that is probably the card I wish I was able to get.
Q: How much of your collection has been acquired thru: a) ebay
b) trading online, c) card shows, d) other
A: I would say about 85-90% of the cards I’ve received I’ve gotten through e-bay. The other 10-15% I’ve gotten through these boards. There aren’t really any big card shows that I’ve been too recently, but if people know of any card shows in the Boston area, I’d love to go to a few.
Q: Contact info for other collectors to get a hold of you?
A: If anyone has any PMG that I’m missing that they’re willing to part with, they can PM me (da_man1980) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org